It is a breed that descends from the dogs used by the Hottenot tribes in the 15th century for hunting lions. These dogs only incited the prey, chased it and announced the hunter without attacking. In 1800, the European settlers crossbred these local dogs with the Mastiff type dogs in order to obtain useful dogs for different jobs on the farm: herding animals, guarding and hunting lions. The name comes from the Rhodesia region in Africa. After War World II, this breed was also brought to the USA.
It is a medium to large-sized dog that is strong, well-built and brawny. It is long rather than tall, it has a big head with a long, thick and strong muzzle and a big, black nose. It makes wrinkles on the forehead when alert. The eyes are black, brown or amber. The ears are set high, V-shaped, drooping close to the head and darker than the fur. The legs are strong with large shoulders compared with the rest of the body. The tail is long, thick and pointy at the tip. It has a strong pigmentation on the nose, pads, eyelids and claws. The fur is short, smooth, glossy, flat, rough and can come in different shades of golden, wheat-coloured, reddish or brownish. It can have small white patches on the chest or toes. It generally has a black mask around the muzzle and eyes. This dog has a distinctive crest on its back of approximately 5 cm (2 inches), hair that grows in the opposite direction from the rest.
It's an intelligent, brave, watchful, quiet but independent dog. It is devoted to its family and gets along well with children if they don't tease it. It is careful with strangers, and having a hunting instinct it can't be trusted around small animals. If socialized from an early age with cats, other dogs and other household animals, it will accept them and there will be no problems when it grows up.
This dog's fur is kept beautiful through a regular brushing once or twice a week and in the shedding period it a rubber brush can be used to remove dead hair and to keep the fur glossy.
This dog is resistant to bad weather and feels best outdoors in a well-fenced yard where it can move freely. It can also adapt in a flat, but it must be taken out daily, at least one hour/day. It has a medium level of activity, so after it has consumed its energy, it will stay quiet in the house. It likes to take long walks, to run by a bike. It needs socialization and training from an early age and a leash when it grows up.
The training must be consistent but gentle. These dogs are intelligent, understand fast what is required, but are a little stubborn, so they need a master with a strong character.
In its country of origin is used as a hunting dog (especially for lions). It is an excellent watchdog, but also a good companion dog.